July 9, 2010

VALPARAISO -- More than a half century of Valparaiso University history started to crumble this week.

Workers began removing the insides of the Student Union, built in 1955, earlier this week and on began demolition early Thursday.

Although the university intended to keep the building after the union and dining moved to Harre Union in 2009, it didn't meet current standards.

Fred Plant, the university's executive Director of facilities management, said by e-mail, "the building's deferred maintenance needs, the cost to improve energy efficiency, and cost to make the building welcoming to the disabled were very close to new construction costs."

The university plans to begin constructing a new, larger and more energy-efficient academic building on the same spot this year, Plant said.

The demolition should be finished within a month. side

The university built the new Harre Union because "we needed more space. The (student) population had grown," said Larry Mosher, who has been director of both unions since 1999.

Seniors Jeff Lange and Nichola Adams said their class will be the last to remember the old union.

Lange said Jesters, the food court, "was so compact that you had to make friends there. It was good. You saw your friend pretty much all the time."

Adams also liked the new union more but will miss the old one.

"The old one kind of seemed quaint. It was small and homey and you could sit in the 'fish tank' lounge and pretty much see everyone go by. The new union doesn't have anything like that," she said.

History professor Kevin Ostoyich has been at VU for five years but won't miss the union.

"It in no way, shape or form compares with the new union. It might've been good in its day, but it was small and cramped," Ostoyich said.

Ron Bodnar, a Valparaiso resident who frequently visits campus, said he'll miss much about the old union, including the old fish tank you saw when you first walked in.

He also recalled the old bowling alleys in the old union.

However, "the big one's a lot nicer," he said. After 55 years, the building is coming down to make room for a new academic building.

(Article quoted from http://www.post-trib.com/news/porter/2479864,new-vudemo0709.article)

Old VU student union demolition begins

By John Scheibel john.scheibel@nwi.com, (219) 548-4358 | Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 4:43 pm

VALPARAISO | Workers began the demolition of the former student union at Valparaiso University on Friday -- a move to make room for a new academic building on campus.

The new building will house classrooms and faculty offices, according to VU spokesman Dustin Wunderlich.

Wunderlich said two older academic buildings -- Miller Hall and Huegli Hall -- will be demolished as part of a trend to move academic departments into newer facilities.

Huegli Hall, which stands in the center of the campus, across the street from the old union, houses offices for the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. Originally Deaconess Hall on the VU campus, the building was constructed in 1957 and was owned by the Lutheran Deaconess Association until 1985. It served as a dormitory for women in the Deaconess program during that time.

OldUnionMiller Hall, 824 LaPorte Ave., next to Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus, houses VU's education department. It was formerly Immanuel Lutheran School.

Wunderlich said no timeline has been set for the demolition of Huegli Hall and Miller Hall.

The former union opened in 1955 when VU had a student body of 2,600. It was replaced in 2009 when the new 207,000 square-foot Harre Union opened. University officials hope to have the old union razed by the beginning of the fall semester in August.



(Article quoted from http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/article_3947fd4f-998b-5a37-a67a-bdbbff755be4.html)